As soon as my ticket was torn at the venue entrance, I sped up my pace, and highly advised dude-from-Taiwan in front of me, to run for it.
I was slightly off-center facing the stage, but I wasn’t complaining. After some time, the crowd settled, and looking back from where I was, the venue was only half-filled, which was puzzling since the concert was sold out. Days later, there was a sensible conclusion that was posted online, that Hong Kong didn’t have a lot of options for smaller-scale concerts like this, and maybe the promoters did set a quota that wouldn’t fill the venue. I was told the Taiwan leg of the tour had a venue half the size of Hong Kong’s, and it was packed.
That idea I had where I should find a way to get shoes or shoe accessories to give me a few more inches in height to guarantee a good view of the stage now seemed foolish, but I just happened to make the right decision of queuing early. The girls behind about 6-feet tall Taiwan-dude (never got his name) were precisely in that unfortunate predicament I was scared to be in. So we switched places. Now, the claim is all mine: I’m in front, and I’m right smack in the center.
The crowd was treated to what was probably half an hour of different versions of this. The following clip was included:
About a quarter past 8, the concert started. Clad in white -with black accents- costumes, the first song was ‘Night Flight‘. There. They. Were. About 10 feet away from me. After that bit where I put a hole in my wallet for this trip, for the concert, and the 14 hour wait, I finally got what I wanted. I started as this reluctant fan in 2008. Now, what I’ve always thought would be a highly improbable happening for me to participate in, is actually happening.
Perpetually happy-vibed A-chan! Sultry Kashiyuka! Glorious -oh glorious!- Nocchi! And THOSE INFAMOUS LEGS!
I couldn’t confirm for accuracy, but people from the Hong Kong fan forum noted that the setlist was the same as Taiwan’s:
コンピューターシティ (Computer City)
エレクトロ・ワールド (Electro World)
レーザービーム (Laser Beam)
Spending all my time
love the world
シークレットシークレット (Secret Secret)
「P.T.A.」のコーナー (P.T.A. Corner)
ねぇ (Nee, “Hey”)
チョコレイト・ディスコ (Chocolate Disco)
Spring of Life
心のスポーツ (Kokoro no Sports, “Sport of the Heart”)
The girls’ first MC -the talkie portion of the concert- started with them trying to speak to the crowd in Cantonese. From hereon, my language handicap doubled: I don’t understand Nihonggo, nor Cantonese. Asking people beside me wasn’t event a consideration, since this ignorant dimwit will just spoil their own precious time. When one of their signature white microphones was passed over to the girl BESIDE ME, I was under the impression that this was when those bilingual can do the Japanese-Chinese translation for the audience. The temptation to just hold that microphone was there, but I still had my wits with me. It was Nocchi’s microphone, too, and that fact just kills me.
There are -I’m nitpicking here, though- minor inconveniences with my position, as I later found out. One of the photographers -who annoyingly still had his flash unit on his camera- would block my view. There was probably a solid two minutes lost if you add them all up! Another thing was the dilemma of being too close, where my vision can only take one of the girls at a time, and there’s this nagging feeling I’m missing out on the others. There was no camera to decide for me this time.
Post-concert local press coverage. (image shared by Lucyu Hang from the Team Perfume (Hong Kong) Facebook group)
P.T.A. Corner starts when a constant drumbeat serves as background music as the girls divides the crowd and coordinate some synchronized cheering. A-chan lead this, of course, and it was wonderful to hear her sing the first verse of Queen’s ‘We Will Rock You‘ on to the song chorus for everyone to join. Being in the middle, I got to be in her divison/team, too. We were called MONO.
Every song was a highlight, and as cheesy as that may sound, it rings true for me. It was a pleasant surprise they sang the new mix of ‘Chocolate Disco‘ from the new compilation CD, since I don’t believe a video of them performing to it exists online. There was one song though that didn’t happen: ‘Baby Cruising Love‘. THAT song was where when my conviction to Perfume started, and is still a favorite. Disappointed? Not so much. ‘Secret Secret‘ made up for it. I also wanted some of the newer songs, maybe ‘Glitter‘ or ‘Hurly Burly‘, but maybe that was asking too much already.
When ‘Polyrhythm‘ ended, and the girls exited, and we all howled for an encore, those in the audience that were given colored gloves by the local fan group started wearing them. I had mine as well:
Maybe I didn’t get the instructions very well on when and how to wear these, all I was sure of is that the varied colors were supposed to represent the song ‘My Color‘, which didn’t get to be part of the encore. The girls did notice, and A-chan looked like she was halfway to getting tears shed.
‘Kokoro no Sports‘ was an apt closing song. It was cheerful, was hella cute, and we got to join in the song with rolling hand motions and clapping. Any of the slower Perfume songs -which would often end their arena concerts in Japan- would just dampen the mood. We were happy, I was happy, to witness all this. This was a celebration, this was just the second leg of Perfume’s Asia-centric world tour, and I bet we’re all hoping that everyone else outside of Japan will have the same opportunity we had. Count me in as one of those fans who wouldn’t hesitate to make every possible effort to see them again.
The only concern right now is for me to try to remember all of it. I’ve been spoiled by taking photos and videos of gigs myself, I hope, this time, my memory doesn’t fail me.
9:43 PM 3/2/2013
Perfume showed some video footage of the HK concert on their recent fanclub livestream, and behold!